Tuesday, November 8

Bobby McFerrin Time

So I turned on the TV today, and you'd never guess who they were talking about. Terrell Owens! Imagine how surprised I was to see his face on the screen. He might have had more air time than all of Sunday's 1378 active players combined. And I didn't want to talk about him, and I'm not going to waste your time giving him more ink, but his departure brings up one of the big topics I've been mulling over lately, that being a fan's long-term commitment to their team.

I love the Eagles. The earliest Eagles memory I have is losing to Washington in the 1990 wildcard game. As a child, I watched them for the next few years, and then moved away from the team for a while. Then, at the turn of the century, various forces in my life collided with the drafting of Donovan Jamal McNabb. Say what you will about the six seasons that have followed, but this team has brought a constant flow of joy to the Philadelphia fans. Given, they have come up short, but the Eagles under Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid have put together an unmatched streak of dominance. And for this I am grateful.

Every year you think you can win the Super Bowl. Some years you really mean it, and others years you are the Detroit Lions trying to play a home Super Bowl with a quarterback named Joey. We are fortunate to have meant it every year this century, and to not have our friends laugh in our faces.

As many of us having branched out of Philadelphia for school, we have brought the Eagles with us. We have gone to Arizona, to Boston, to California, to DC, and to New York. We have dusted off our jerseys and trodded down to the bar in our jerseys, proudly wearing the numbers of McNabb, Duce, Dawkins, Ritchie, and even Pinkston. We have ridden in a car with a Cowboys fan against the grain on one-way streets 50 miles per hour in two feet of snow to collect on a $50 bet. We have smashed twelve beers on our foreheads in front of 30,000 people in a losing effort. We have downloaded every shitty Eagles rap song that comes out mid-January.

And of course there have been some tough times. Taking a four point lead into the half against “the greatest show on turf.” Ronde Barber running 92 yards with our season in his hand. Brentson Buckner tearing Donovan’s rib cartilage as we put up 3 points at home. Andy Reid’s watch breaking against the Pats.

We’ve seen a lot of Eagles games, and we’re going to see a lot more. Every game feels important, and that is great. The fact that we have a team that we want to watch every week is a very special thing. Imagine waking up every Sunday, getting together with your friends, and trying to think of three reasons to be excited about watching your Cleveland Browns. Or try this: you’ve got work at 9 on Tuesday, which means you have to get up at 7 to take the Path Train to the uptown subway to make it in on time. What on earth are you going do to get excited about staying up until 1 AM to watch your 2005 New York Jets get beat up and down the field for sixty minutes? I gotta believe that it’s better to be let down than to never be in it in the first place.

We will remember all of these moments. We take the good with the bad. And this recap brings me to my point. Remember, this is coming from someone who definitively thinks the season is not lost. I’m willing to sacrifice this season for the future of this franchise. I can make it this year without a trophy. I can lean on the past, and look forward to the future. The window is not closing, it just needs some repairs. Take a look at the roster. It is young, deep, and talented. We’ve got speed and we’ve got power. We’ve got offense and we’ve got defense. In the long run, we’ll be able to look at this as just one more year where we didn’t quite make it. Andy and Joe took a flyer on a loose canon and the kickback blew up the fort. So they ditched him and we move on. Five is hurt and if he doesn’t get it together we will not make the playoffs. Unless he can get his head on straight and the O-Line can keep it there, making the playoffs will barely be a blessing. But they are doing the right thing. We’ve all put a lot into this season and those before it. And it might be a tough summer, but next year we’ll get up and do it again. This had to happen, and if it costs us one year, it’ll be worth it when we finally bring home the hardware.

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